Century: Eastern Wonders makes cardboard spice trading fun again
Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.
In 2017, newly founded tabletop studio Plan B Games released Century: Spice Road. A tight, brain-teasing card game, Spice Road cast players as merchants trading spices on the overland route between Europe and Asia, and it combined the mechanical minimalism of hit gem-trading game Splendor with just a hint of Dominion-style deckbuilding.
What was intriguing to many fans, though, was that Spice Road was just the first installment in a planned trilogy. Players would be able to combine it with the future games in the series, mixing them to create a variety of gameplay experiences. Now the second release in the lineup has arrived in the form of Century: Eastern Wonders. But is it a rewarding game in its own right? An engaging add-on to an established hit? Or, is it just a gimmick that sounds great in theory—but doesn’t hold up once it hits the table?